Perez ends the longest wait for a win, Russell ends the third longest wait for points and Ocon ends the seventh longest wait for a podium. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix weekend!
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
The major news ahead of the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix was that Lewis Hamilton would not take part due to testing positive for coronavirus. This was to be the first race which Hamilton did not start since the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, ending a record streak of 265 consecutive starts. It also became the first race in which no eventual seven-time World Champion has competed since the 1999 European Grand Prix and the first race in which no drivers with the surname Schumacher or Hamilton have appeared on the grid since the 1994 Portuguese Grand Prix. Hamilton became the first driver to not enter every race in a season in which a driver has won the World Championship since Michael Schumacher in 1994, and the first driver to not start every race in a season in which a driver has won the World Championship since Fernando Alonso in 2005. As a result of testing positive for coronavirus, Hamilton missed out on the chance to extend his personal best of wins in a season, and can no longer set a new record for most wins in a year in 2020. It also ended his streak of five consecutive Grand Prix victories.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. It was the sixteenth pole of his career and his second pole at Bahrain International Circuit. With his sixteenth career pole, Bottas equalled Stirling Moss and Felipe Massa as the driver with the nineteenth most poles in Formula 1 history. Bottas’ pole time clocked in at 53.377 seconds. That is a new record for the shortest pole lap time in Formula 1. The former record, a 58.79 second lap set by Niki Lauda at the 1974 French Grand Prix, had stood for over 46 years. Valtteri Bottas finished in eighth place for a second consecutive race, marking the first time a polesitter has finished eighth since Sebastian Vettel did so at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix. This is the first time that Bottas has failed to finish on the podium at three consecutive races since the end of the 2018 season.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell took Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. He became the twelfth driver to have raced for Mercedes in Formula 1. Reaching Q3 for the first time in his career, Russell missed out on pole by only 0.026 seconds and was out-qualified by a team-mate for the first time in 37 entries. Russell became the 25th British driver to have started on the front row in F1. The 24th British driver to start on the front row was Hamilton, who did so for the first time at the Bahrain track in 2007. Russell led more laps than anyone else in the race, but the win was not to be. Nevertheless, He finished ninth and recorded the first points of his career. Only two drivers have taken longer to score their first points – Jonathan Palmer, on his 42nd appearance, and Nicola Larini, on his 44th appearance. Russell also set the Fastest Lap for the first time in his career. He’s the 135th driver to set the Fastest Lap during a Formula 1 race, doing so with a 55.404 second lap. Russell set a new record with his fastest lap: it’s the shortest ever race lap in Formula 1 history. The previous record was a 1:00.00, set by Jody Scheckter at the 1974 French Grand Prix.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel qualified in thirteenth place, which is the worst qualifying result for a Ferrari driver in Bahrain since Felipe Massa qualified fourteenth for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. He went on to finish the race in twelfth and, with Charles Leclerc retiring, Ferrari failed to score in Bahrain for the first time since 2005.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc equalled his best qualifying result of the year with fourth place. It was the fourth time Leclerc has qualified fourth in 2020, having also done so at the British, Eifel and Portuguese Grands Prix. In the race, Leclerc was out on the first lap, bringing to an end his 100% finish rate in Bahrain. Leclerc is only the third Ferrari driver to record a retirement in Bahrain. Michael Schumacher failed to finish in 2005, while Kimi Raikkonen was out in 2018.
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen was eliminated on the first lap of the Sakhir Grand Prix. It was his fourth retirement at the Bahrain International Circuit.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon failed to reach Q3 for the third time in 2020, qualifying in twelfth place. It was the first time he missed out on Q3 since the British Grand Prix. This is the sixth time in the last eight Bahrain races that only one Red Bull driver has qualified in the top ten. Albon finished the race in sixth place.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Qualifying in eighth place, Carlos Sainz reached Q3 for the first time since the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. In the race, Sainz finished fourth, recording a third consecutive top five finish. This was the fourth time that Sainz has finished in the top four during his career.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris recorded his worst qualifying result of 2020 with fifteenth place. It was his worst qualifying result since qualifying sixteenth at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Norris lost his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Bahrain International Circuit as a result. Finishing in tenth place, Norris is the first driver to score at the circuit having started from nineteenth on the grid.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo qualified in seventh place for the Sakhir Grand Prix. In nine appearances at the Bahrain International Circuit, Ricciardo is still yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at the venue. Ricciardo finished the race in fifth place. With Esteban Ocon on the podium, this was the third team that Ricciardo’s team-mate has finished ahead of him in a race they have both finished in 2020.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon finished on the podium for the first time in his Formula 1 career. Ocon became the 214th driver to finish on the podium in World Championship history. His was the 306th top three finish for a French driver and the first time that a French driver has finished on the podium with Renault since Patrick Tambay at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix. The last French driver to finish on the podium for the Enstone team was Romain Grosjean at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix. Before the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Ocon’s previous best result was fifth place. He’s finished fifth three times – at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix and the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. Ocon made his first podium appearance on his 66th start. Only six drivers have taken longer to record their first podium finish: Carlos Sainz, Martin Brundle, Mika Salo, Jenson Button, Pedro de la Rosa and Johnny Herbert.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez took an incredible win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Perez is the 110th different driver to win a World Championship Formula 1 race, doing so on his 190th race start. That’s a new record for most starts before a driver’s first win. The previous record was 130 starts, which was set by Mark Webber at the 2009 German Grand Prix. Perez becomes the second Mexican driver to win a Formula 1 race – the first to do so since Pedro Rodriguez at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix, over fifty years ago. This was Perez’s first race win in 3,676 days. He took his last win just over ten years ago at the Yas Marina Circuit, winning the Abu Dhabi Feature Race in the 2010 GP2 season. Despite taking part in only fourteen races this year, Perez’s win means that he has now scored more points this season than in any other season during his F1 career.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll qualified in tenth place, marking the first time that he has reached Q3 at the Bahrain International Circuit. In the race, Stroll recorded his third podium finish. He became the 115th driver to record at least three top three finishes in F1. Stroll’s third place is the first time that he has scored points at the Bahrain International Circuit.
🇷🇺 Daniil Kvyat
With sixth place, Daniil Kvyat qualified in the top six for the ninth time in his career. It was his best qualifying result since the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the first time he has out-qualified Gasly since the Tuscan Grand Prix. In the race, Kvyat finished seventh, making the Sakhir Grand Prix the fourth successive F1 race in Bahrain in which the Red Bull junior team has scored.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly qualified in ninth place and was out-qualified by Daniil Kvyat, ending a streak of six races in which Gasly has out-qualified his team-mate.
🇫🇮 Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen qualified in nineteenth for the Sakhir Grand Prix, qualifying on the back row for the sixth time in 2020. On his way to finishing fourteenth, Raikkonen became the first driver to have raced 800 laps at the Bahrain International Circuit.
🇮🇹 Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi reached Q2 for the third time in 2020. It’s the third time he has done so in the last six races. Qualifying in fourteenth, the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix is the first time that Giovinazzi has not qualified sixteenth in Bahrain.
🇫🇷 Romain Grosjean
Following his crash on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean missed the Sakhir Grand Prix. This was the first race which Grosjean did not enter since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix and the first which he did not start since the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix. Over the weekend, Grosjean announced that he would not race in Abu Dhabi, likely ending his 179-race F1 career.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen finished fifteenth in the Sakhir Grand Prix. It was his best result since finishing thirteenth in the Eifel Grand Prix.
🇧🇷 Pietro Fittipaldi
Romain Grosjean’s replacement for the Sakhir Grand Prix was Pietro Fittipaldi. He became the 31st Brazilian driver to start a Formula 1 race; the first to do so since Felipe Massa at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Fittipaldi is the fourth member of the Fittipaldi family to race in Formula 1. The last was Christian Fittipaldi at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix. This will be the first time that four members of the same family have raced in F1 and the first time that the grandson of a former driver has raced in F1. Fittipaldi raced with the number 51, which was the first time the number has been used in a race since the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix, when the number appeared on Noritake Takahara’s car. Fittipaldi qualified in twentieth and finished seventeenth, becoming the first driver to finish seventeenth on debut since Will Stevens did so at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He’s the first member of the Fittipaldi family to finish in seventeenth place since Christian Fittipaldi did so at the 1994 European Grand Prix.
🇬🇧 Jack Aitken
Jack Aitken replaced George Russell at Williams for the Sakhir Grand Prix weekend. He became the 145th British driver to start a Formula 1 race and the 55th driver to start a Grand Prix for Williams. Aitken raced with the number 89, marking the first time this number has been used in a Grand Prix. 89 was used a number of times in the Indianapolis 500 between 1950 and 1960, and once by David Murray at the 1951 German Grand Prix – but he failed to qualify. Aitken finished in sixteenth place. He’s the first driver to finish sixteenth on debut since the man he replaced did so. George Russell finished sixteenth at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi out-qualified his team-mate for the first time in his career, out-qualifying Aitken by 0.096 seconds. Latifi failed to finish the race, recording his third retirement of the 2020 season – his second in the last three races.
Read more statistics from the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix weekend in our Post Race Statistics article!
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.